So, you want to quit smoking weed.
Hats off to you, my friend!
But you probably know that it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Don’t worry, you will get through this. And I am going to help you.
Are You Actually Addicted?
It’s the first question to be asked because:
There’s weed dependency, and there’s a real addiction.
Many users confuse these two terms, and some even use it as an excuse to keep smoking marijuana. They say, “It’s just a dependency, so why would I quit smoking weed?”
The thing is, it’s really easy to distinguish between a real addiction and a drug dependency. Let me explain. Dependency really means that you require marijuana to feel fine physically. For instance, when you have a health condition and cannot stop smoking weed because it helps with the symptoms.
Many people call marijuana ‘the drug of illusion’. We smoke it to escape the reality and experience something we can’t encounter in real life. However, some people choose to stop living an illusion and pick real life instead, so they quit smoking weed.
Addiction, on the other hand, is when you don’t actually need the drug but want it all the time. You think about it and even build your life around it, making decisions based on your addiction. That’s why it’s so dangerous (aside from the negative physical effects). And that’s why it’s important to understand that you have an addiction. Especially if you are determined to quit smoking marijuana.
Here are some common signs of addiction to help you get the full picture:
- withdrawal symptoms when not smoking for some time;
- increased tolerance (which means you need higher doses of weed continually to get the desired effect);
- anxiety about smoking or not having a chance to smoke (even the prospect can make you feel discomfort or worry);
- being dishonest about marijuana usage (for instance, trying to convince yourself that you don’t smoke that much or understating your drug use to other people);
- smoking more than intended, which means failing to control your dosages;
- allowing the drug to interfere with your responsibilities, decision making, or relationships;
- avoiding other activities and commitments (which means weed is more of a priority to you than other aspects of your life);
- failing to relax without the drug;
- being unable to cut down on use.
If you have ever noticed any of these signs, it must be time for you to quit smoking marijuana. You probably realize that already, so let’s move on to how you can actually do that.
Benefits of Quitting
Marijuana has a lot of effects on our body. Even though it helps us relax and can even deal with severe symptoms of different diseases, it can also harm us.
So, once you quit smoking weed, you get rid of all those side effects. Want to know more?
Here’s what your life would be like when you stop smoking weed:
- You will stop inhaling carcinogens found in marijuana smoke. This means, there will be much fewer chances for you to get cancer.
- Your brain will be safer. It is known that cannabis can negatively influence your attention span, learning abilities, thinking, concentrating, and even memory.
- You will be safe from paranoia and hallucinations, which are possible when using marijuana heavily.
- You will feel more energized and need less sleep since weed oftentimes makes users feel fatigue.
- You will breathe more freely. Smoking marijuana is known to cause several respiratory problems, especially if you smoke regularly and often.
- Your mind will be at peace. You probably know that weed can make you more irritated and anxious, especially when you don’t have access to it (even temporary). So, once you are rid of this nasty addiction, you will become calmer and more at peace with yourself (I know, I sound like one of those yogi-Buddhist-vegan-enlightened people, but it’s true, no matter how cheesy it may sound).
Being addicted to weed certainly has many health-related drawbacks. However, such an addiction can also influence your life and many aspects of it, including your job and personal relationships
- If you have any mental disorders, you will feel better. Why? Because marijuana is known to affect and enhance mental issues.
- You will love your life more. Let me explain this one. Cannabis does not only affect your mood and mental health. When using it heavily, it can also cause suicidal thoughts or a social anxiety disorder. So, once you quit smoking marijuana, your mental state and overall well-being will improve.
- You will be more articulate.
- You will not have to worry about any legal problems linked to marijuana.
- You will have more money since you’ll stop spending it on weed.
- You will easily cope with stress. Once you ditch your old habit, you will find new (healthier) ways to relax and cope with stressful situations.
- You will have more free time (thus more opportunities to do something new and interesting).
- You will look better.
- You will feel more self-respect.
The list can go on, but you get the picture. There are many reasons why you should stop smoking weed, and your health and well-being are the most important ones. I mean, after reading this list, you can probably see how better your life can become.
Top 5 Ways to Stop Smoking Weed
Actually, there are much more effective methods that can help you get rid of this habit, but I’m going to list 5 best ones. Each of them has its benefits and drawbacks, so, obviously, they would work differently for different users. You can read about these methods below and see which one would be the most suited for you.
Let’s start with the most popular one.
- Cold Turkey
This method is bold and might be the best option for users who are determined to succeed. It’s great for people who want to act fast and confidently. Basically, the Cold Turkey method implies getting rid of all your smoking accessories and completely erasing this habit from your life.
Of course, you can throw your bong, weed, or vape away and be done with it. However, what makes this method really challenging is the marijuana withdrawal timeline, which will last for quite a while and cause some major inconveniences (I will explain later, keep reading).
So, get ready to bite the bullet and get over your body’s cravings. You need to be strong mentally and physically if you want the Cold Turkey method to be effective.
- Professional Help
Suitable for pretty much everyone, this method has proven to be very effective. It involves seeking medical advice from a doctor and seeing a therapist. Your doctor might prescribe some medicine to help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms. And your therapist will help you figure out the problem and how to deal with it using your head and inner strength.
Now, keep in mind that there’s no medicine that can cure marijuana addiction. Sorry to disappoint you, but despite all the progress we are making these days, there are no magical pills. However, there’s medicine that makes the withdrawal process more bearable. And this, consequently, can help you remain on the right path and continue fighting your addiction.
This one might seem like a rather drastic measure. And it is, to be honest. Going to a rehab is probably the best option for heavy smokers, someone who is really struggling with their addiction and feels like their health is in danger.
Here’s what you need to know, though:
A rehab is an option that requires time, money, and commitment. It is effective since you are going to be surrounded by professionals and isolated from all the potential triggers that can cause you to start smoking again.
However, this method might be really challenging too, so it isn‘t for everyone. You will be away from your usual environment, which might appear to be very stressful for some people.
- 12-Step Program
Known as an effective program for alcohol-addicted people, this program is oftentimes adopted by other groups, including people who want to quit smoking weed. The 12-step program involves twelve specific steps that you need to take if you want to get rid of your addiction.
Additionally, it implies joining an anonymous support group, getting counseling, and cooperating with a sponsor who is going to support and guide you through the whole process.
This method is great for people who cannot deal with their addiction on their own. Being around someone with the same problem and receiving constant support from a sponsor is a perfect way to quit smoking weed for those who find comfort in others.
- Quitting Gradually
This is one of the most “merciful” ways to fight your addiction. When trying to quit gradually, you do not abruptly cease the drug intake. Which means your withdrawal symptoms aren’t that severe and the whole process is more bearable.
Quitting gradually requires you to constantly decrease the amount of marijuana you smoke. You can set a date for when you want to become weed-free and gradually make your weed portions smaller and smaller.
This method is perfect for people who need a “mild” solution, something that will not seem too drastic or abrupt. If you want to be more in control, you can plan and prepare your doses in advance. This will also prevent you from smoking more than you’ve promised yourself.
Numerous people choose the in-patient rehab as the way to quit smoking marijuana. This method seems to be the easiest to them. And while this method really is effective, you need to remember that it will still require you to be strong and determined. No one can quit for you, it’s in your hands. Other people (doctors, in this case) can only assist you
Are You Ready to Quit Smoking Weed? Here’s What You Should Do
While all the previously mentioned methods are effective, none of them is perfect. That’s why we’ve decided to search for the best, the “killer” way to quit using weed once and for all. We surveyed 5,000 people who have successfully quitted smoking marijuana and never came back to it. We collected their answers and analyzed them.
What did we get as a result? The most comprehensive guide on how to get rid of this habit. And hopefully, it can help you too. So, consider the following step-by-step instructions and pieces of advice:
- Start by setting a date for when you want to ditch this habit completely, when you want to be 100% pot-free. The majority of people in our survey said that having a deadline really helped them stay focused on their goal. They also said that setting a date within the next month is the most effective.
- Ask a friend or a family member to support and distract you along the way. If you can, join an anonymous support group in your town/city and find a sponsor.
- Minimize other commitments for the next month if possible. It’s also better to avoid any potentially stressful situations and parties.
- Think about what makes you want to smoke weed and avoid those triggers.
When trying to quit smoking marijuana, you need to prepare yourself for the environmental factors that might influence the process. You can go to a party and watch your friends get high or drive by the place where you used to smoke regularly. Such situations can trigger your desire to start smoking again
- Prepare for the withdrawal. You will find the most common symptoms and ways to ease them below.
- If you are quitting gradually (which is the best method for people who have been smoking for a long time), get rid of all the extra accessories and leave just one device (whether it’s your vape or something else). Plan how much marijuana you are going to smoke each session and gradually decrease the amount.
- If you are quitting Cold Turkey (which is the most effective method for relatively new smokers), get rid of your weed and all the devices and accessories related to it.
- Keep yourself busy. 89% of our respondents said that distracting themselves with other activities helped them abstain from smoking. Exercise, go for long walks in the fresh air, try new hobbies, just avoid idleness.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes. If a relapse happens, don’t think that everything is lost and you have to start from day 1. Just stick to your plan and continue as if nothing has happened. Progress is impossible without taking a step (or two) back, so don’t give up if a relapse happens.
- Don’t be ashamed to reach out if you feel like you need help. Talk to your friends, family, or even invest in some time with a therapist. 78% of our responders note that getting emotional support from others helped them stay on track.
- Remind yourself of your goal and all the benefits of quitting smoking.
- Track your progress. Cross the days off the calendar or journal your thoughts. Putting your progress in a physical form really helps understand how much you have achieved so far.
Issues You Are Going to Face
Quitting smoking weed isn’t easy. In fact, everything is going to fight you. Your environment will remind you of your habit, the stresses of your work and life will make you want to smoke, and even your body will be against you.
However, when you know what to expect, things get a bit more bearable. So, here are the potential issues you are going to face when quitting smoking marijuana:
- stomach pain;
- flu-like symptoms (sweating, tremors, fever, shakiness, chills, headaches);
- appetite changes (loss of appetite or excessive hunger);
- weight loss/gain;
- mood swings;
- loss of focus and an inability to concentrate;
- intense marijuana cravings;
- feeling worried;
- digestion problems (including nausea and cramps);
- weakness and tiredness.
How to Deal With Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
Of course, all those symptoms don’t usually occur all at once. You might experience some of them in the first few days of the withdrawal, others might come later, and some won’t bother you at all. But being familiar with potential issues can help you prepare and handle the process easier.
Now, let me just tell you this:
it’s not going to be easy, but you’ll get through this. Withdrawal symptoms can be real bastards sometimes, attacking you on all fronts. But there are many things you can do to make yourself feel better. For instance:
- Exercise. It’s easier to fall asleep after a workout, it can take your mind off the weed, and it will make you healthier.
- Take medical supplements. Describe your symptoms to your doctor. Some of them can be reduced by certain medicine.
- Learn to meditate. This can help you deal with insomnia and even weed cravings.
- Drink protein shakes if you are experiencing loss of appetite.
- Stay hydrated.
- Try to eat healthy food.
- If you feel like losing it, you can turn to a detoxification center. They usually offer relatively short (and not too expensive) programs to help people get through the withdrawal process.
- Try psychotherapy if your budget allows for it. Different therapy types can help you figure out your internal issues, as well as understand yourself, your habits, and how to get rid of them.
- Pick a rehabilitation program. There are many options like outpatient, inpatient programs, partial hospitalization, support groups, rehab centers, and so on. Being surrounded by professionals can really help you deal with the withdrawal process. Additionally, they will assist you along the way.
Trying new things during your “rehab” process is very effective. New activities can take your mind off marijuana. Additionally, you can pick up a cool new hobby or meet some interesting people along the way
Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline
Now that you’re ready to quit smoking weed, you are probably trying to mentally prepare yourself for the withdrawal process and symptoms. Naturally, you want to know for how long your weed withdrawal symptoms will last.
Here’s the thing:
The withdrawal process is different for different users. And the timeline depends on how much of a heavy smoker you are.
We can take a look at the average numbers, though. This way, you will have a general idea of what to expect and how to prepare yourself to stand this trial.
So, here’s an average timeline for marijuana withdrawal:
- Day 1: you might experience anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.
- Days 2-3: this is the peak of the withdrawal. You will experience very strong weed cravings. Other potential side effects include stomach pain, chills, and sweating.
- Days 4-14: During this period, the symptoms are supposed to gradually improve. However, you might experience depression (due to the brain’s chemistry changes) and marijuana cravings.
- Day 15 and beyond: The majority of the symptoms should be gone by now. You might still feel depressed or anxious, but the symptoms are usually quite mild at this point.
So, are you ready to start your journey to a healthier life? Are you planning to quit smoking weed? Tell us what methods you want to use in the comments below!